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Category: Tony Awards

Flashback: 'The Lion King' at the Oscars and Tonys

With "The Lion King" back in theaters -- this time in 3-D -- it felt right to look back at the 1994 Oscars, when a category had not yet been created for animated feature, so "The Lion King" was marginalized to the tech races. It ended up nabbing four bids, all in the music slots. Three of its tunes competed for best song -- "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," "Circle of Life" and "Hakuna Matata" -- and, of course, "Love" triumphed with Elton John and Tim Rice claiming the gold. "The Lion King" also won best score for Hans Zimmer.

Soon afterward the hit film was transferred to the Broadway stage, where it finally reaped its lion's share of kudos. In 1998, it won six Tony Awards including best musical, beating "Rag Time," "Side Show" and "The Scarlett Pimpernel." Since it opened in November 1997, it has run continuously for more than 3,000 performances, becoming Broadway's seventh-longest-running musical.


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Quiz: What movie has earned the most Oscar nominations?

-- Tom O'Neil

Neil Patrick Harris on Emmys, Tonys and 'How I Met Your Mother' [Video]

"I think it spoke a little bit about the arbitrariness of awards," Neil Patrick Harris says in our webcam chat about his odd experience at last year's Emmys when he lost his third bid for "How I Met Your Mother," but — surprise — won two other statuettes for his guest role on "Glee" and for hosting the Tony Awards.

"Awards are very interesting and strange," he adds, acknowledging how the Emmys can be "ironic and awesome" when you win for unexpected things. But as he enters another Emmy derby, he hopes that his weekly TV series gets attention in many categories, especially directing and writing.

"I'm really proud of 'How I Met Your Mother,' so I hope that the hosting things don't overshadow that because I feel that, as a show, it's underappreciated," he says.

Recently, Harris has excelled spectacularly as host of the Tony and Emmy ceremonies. In our webcam chat, he dishes at length about what went on behind the scenes at the recent Tonys and on his general philosophy of what makes a good host of award shows.

"You have to be like a ringmaster in a circus, a great variety show host," he says, "but you also have to be a fan of the art.... All of this is a big one-off crap shoot. Sometimes things go fantastic and sometimes they don't land, and there's no way to judge ahead of time."


Broadway took back the Tonys and staged a real winner

Can Jim Parsons make a big bang at the Emmys again? [video]

Tony Awards: Watch Neil Patrick Harris' impressive wrap-up rap [Video]

— Tom O'Neil

Photo: Neil Patrick Harris hosting the Tonys last month. Credit: Jeff Christensen / Associated Press.

Can Jim Parsons make a big bang at the Emmys again? [video]

Jim parsons big bang theory emmyIs "The Big Bang Theory" the new "Third Rock From the Sun"? That is, will it finally get an Emmy nomination for best comedy series after its star won the lead actor's prize? "Third Rock" didn't break into the series race till 1997, one year after John Lithgow led the way by winning his first of three best actor Emmys.

Jim Parsons' victory last year set off a real bang at the Nokia Theatre since it defied the longstanding prejudice Emmy voters often have against young-skewing TV comedies. It also jolted the Emmy recipient.

"It's very hard to get your feet on the ground and absorb the experience in the moment," Parsons says in our webcam chat about his win. "It has a real feeling of unreality to it and I found it hard to wrap my brain around."

Currently, Parsons stars on Broadway in "The Normal Heart," which just won the Tony Award for best revival of a play, but its victory was bittersweet. The enormous hubbub and critical praise surrounding the current production inevitably makes you wonder: Was a crucial opportunity lost? Why did it take 26 years for "The Normal Heart" to get its first Broadway staging? If it had made it to the Great White Way 26 years ago and had been greeted with the same wild acclaim, its message –- a desperate cry to halt the dawning AIDS crisis -– may have helped to save millions of lives.

But Parsons has a positive outlook toward its current Broadway debut: "In some ways, this production is offering people a chance to mourn, the chance to have enough perspective and distance to take in, emotionally, what that meant to go through."

We discuss "The Normal Heart" and "The Big Bang Theory" in depth in our webcam chat below.

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Jim Parsons at the Emmys. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Tony Awards unveil members of new nominating committee

Just five days after the Tony Awards were over, the organization's administration committee announced the names of members of the committee that will decide nominees for next year's kudos. New members include actor Boyd Gaines, director Anne Kauffman, composer-lyricist Douglas J. Cohen, scenic and costume designer Tony Walton and former New York Times editor and reporter Mervyn Rothstein, while actor André de Shields and playwright-director Moises Kaufman are among the returning members. See the full list after the jump.

Continue reading »

Tony Awards: Back stage with 'Book of Mormon' winners

"When you die and you find out that God is a Mormon, what will you say to get off the hook?" I asked the creators of "Book of Mormon" moments after the musical swept the Tony Awards.

"Look at the box office," Trey Parker replied. "Scoreboard!"

Parker suddenly got serious and didn't have a snarky reply when he was informed that he had just tied a Tony record set by Josh Logan, who bagged four awards in one year for the original production of "South Pacific" (1950). Parker's four wins: best book, score, director and musical.

"We riffed on people getting awards enough that we have to walk that line carefully," said Trey Parker, grinning.

When he was asked, "Will there be a 'South Park' episode making fun of 'Book of Mormon'?" he replied, "No, because that wouldn't be cool."

-- Tom O'Neil


Tony Awards: Back stage with John Larroquette

Tony Awards: Back stage with Sutton Foster and Norbert Leo Butz

Tony Awards: Backstage with Sutton Foster and Norbert Leo Butz

Here are the comments made by the Tony Award winners for best actress and actor in a musical to reporters back in the press room: Sutton Foster ("Anything Goes") and Norbert Leo Butz ("Catch Me If You Can"). Foster's video begins with her answering a question asked over and over to every winner by a journalist from Entertainment Weekly: What was your most embarrassing moment ever onstage?

-- Tom O'Neil

Broadway took back the Tonys and staged a real winner

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Tony awards neil patrick harris news

After Catherine Zeta-Jones, Denzel Washington and Scarlett Johansson swept the Tony Awards last year, there was a widespread belief that Hollywood had hijacked New York's great theater awards. This year, Broadway wanted them back and Tony voters sent a powerful -– and painful –- message by bypassing a nomination for Daniel Radcliffe ("How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying") in the race for best musical actor.

Instead, on Sunday night, that award went to longtime Tonys fave Norbert Leo Butz ("Catch Me If You Can"), who previously won for "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (2005). Best musical actress went to another Broadway insider, Sutton Foster ("Anything Goes"), who previously won for "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (2002). Two Hollywood stars managed to win, but one (Frances McDormand, "Good People") is a veteran stage actress who lives in New York and the other, John Larroquette, won for two reasons: his celeb status and "How to Succeed" needed a consolation prize.

Still, no superstars shone, so the spotlight fell on what everybody's talking about Monday -– those dazzling opening and closing numbers performed by Neil Patrick Harris, who won an Emmy last year for hosting the Tonys in 2009.

New York theater writer Wayman Wong of the New York Daily News sent us this message via email, "I thought that was the best Tonycast in years, and think Harris could pick up another Emmy (as host) … and now producer! I also think the opening song could nab an Emmy nomination; the lyrics are by multiple Emmy winner David Javerbaurm (of 'The Daily Show'); music, Adam Schlesinger."

The opener had such memorable lyrics as "Attention every breeder/ you're invited to the theater/ it's not just for gays any more." See the full lyrics at AfterElton.

Harris' closing wrap rant was impressive since it incorporated references to unscripted events that occurred earlier that night with such lyrics, "Everybody cried for gorgeous Nikki James, the bumblebee ….  Mark Rylance runs at fences." Read the full lyrics at Awards Tracker.

[For the record, 11:32 June 15: An earlier version of this post said "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" ran on Broadway in 2002. It was 2005.)

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Neil Patrick Harris performs the opening number. Credit: Gary Hershorn / Reuters


Tony Awards: Neil Patrick Harris' closing number

Tony Awards: 'Book of Mormon' wins nine awards, including top musical

Kander and Ebb set new record as Tonys' biggest losers

Kander and Ebb set new record as Tonys' biggest losers

Kander and ebb 4Back in 1976, lyricist Fred Ebb and composer John Kander set a new record as the biggest losers at the Tony Awards when "Chicago" got skunked in 11 categories.

Then, in 1997, they tied that dubious record with "Steel Pier." Now they exceded it. On Sunday night, "The Scottsboro Boys" was up for 12 nominations but won nothing.

Kander and Ebb (who began working on "The Scottsboro Boys" in 2002 before Ebb died in 2004) have had many Tonys successes. They won best musical and best score for "Cabaret" (1967) plus Tonys for the scores for "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1993) and "Woman of the Year" (1983). Kander continues to work in musical theater. 

— Tom O'Neil

Photo: John Kander, standing, and Fred Ebb. Credit: Richard Rodgers Theatre.


Tony Awards: Neil Patrick Harris' closing number

Tony Awards: Neil Patrick Harris' closing number

NPH song 
Closing out an entertaining and engaging show, Neil Patrick Harris gave viewers a quick rundown of the night's events -- in a rap. Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, here's how it went:

Tomorrow, if anyone asks you what happened at the Tonys, you can say this:

We straightened things out in the opening number, Ellen Barkin and John Benjamin Hickey took home awards for their hilarious performances in “The Normal Heart.”

Daniel Radcliffe kicked some butt, and we were so elated

Even Voldemort was sad he wasn’t nominated

Norbert Leo Butz sang and danced and tried to catch ya, comin’ atcha,

Chasing Trey and Casey 'cause they nabbed a Tony statue

Commencing in the Chattanooga station

From the grand imagination of the Kander-Ebb collaboration

It takes a lot for a recipient to humble me

But everybody cried for gorgeous Nikki James, the bumblebee

Andrew Rannells sang “I Believe” and he landed it

So well now he’s Mitt Romney’s VP candidate

All across the country, from the north and to the south

They’re saying Brooke’s a hottie with a crazy potty mouth

John Larroquette brought an eloquent mood to the room

I’m still imagining him at home in his Fruit-of-the-Looms

Spider-Man and Mary-Jane gave us perspective here

They sang a ballad, we didn’t need protective gear

Patina Miller’s nun sang “Raise Your Voice” with cheer

And “Memphis” is relentless, they’re performing every year

“The Normal Heart” won, Larry Kramer made us weep

And “War Horse” dazzled us with a theatrical sweep

Sutton Foster never lost her knack

For talking smack

And tapping a full-on assault attack

I’m awesome, Hugh Jackman, take that

Go ahead and roll the credits if you need to

I’m out of control, I’m on a roll, this is my Tonys speed-through

“Anything Goes” took the best revival prize in stride

We didn’t see it, we were singing “Side By Side By Side.”

McDormand loves her job, Sutton Foster won again

Paul Shaffer sang and suddenly it started raining men

Mark Rylance runs at fences, he’s won the Tony twice

That guy can do it all, his follow-up is “Fanny Bryce.”

Norbert Butz and “Mormon” swept the floor,

Won even more awards than “War Horse”

Par for the course,

Someone get a car for the horse

And in the final analysis, what survives tonight?

Theater, because it’s what we live, we’re changing some lives tonight

And theater thrives because we live to give it, so to speak

This ain’t reality TV, this is eight shows a week

Every chorus member that you saw tonight tappin’

Had to make miracles happen

For a chance to see you clappin’

And applauding in the audience. What’s next? Who knows?

Anything goes. Now go see a ... Broadway show.

Thank you, good night.

Photo: Neil Patrick Harris performing with the cast of "Company" earlier in the Tonys show. Credit: Jeff Christensen / Associated Press.

Tony Awards: 'Book of Mormon' wins nine awards, including top musical

Parker "The Book of Mormon," the cheerfully offensive musical from the creators of "South Park," was the big winner at Sunday's Tony Awards, winning in nine categories including best musical. The show's creators -- Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez -- each won multiple awards in the writing and other creative categories.

Parker, in accepting the top award, jokingly thanked "our co-writer who passed away, Joseph Smith," who is the founder of the Mormon faith.

The record for the most Tonys is held by "The Producers," with 12 wins.

"Mormon" was the favorite going into Sunday's ceremony, with a total of 12 nominations. The musical won in the categories of score and book of a musical, which were both written by Stone, Parker and Lopez.

The musical tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries who travel to a remote village in Africa. The show makes fun of various religions, the AIDS crisis and other hot-button topics.

The show also won for direction (Casey Nicholaw and Parker). Actress Nikki M. James, playing an African villager, took home the award for featured actress in a musical.

"Mormon's" other wins came in the categories for scenic design, lighting, sound design and orchestration.

"War Horse," the British drama that uses life-size puppets to represent its equine characters, received five Tonys, including best play. The drama also won for direction, scenic design, lighting design and and sound design.

Revivals of "Anything Goes" and "The Normal Heart" both won three Tonys, including musical revival and play revival, respectively.

Best and Worst of the 2011 Tony Awards

Tony Awards: Mark Rylance, Norbert Leo Butz win actor awards

Tony Awards: Frances McDormand wins for 'Good People'

--David Ng


Photo (top): Trey Parker accepts the award for best musical for "The Book of Mormon." Credit: Jeff Christensen / Associated Press


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